Sirona Biochem’s Skin Lightener Compound Seven Times More Effective Than Popular Commercial Lightener in Study

Compound viability in $9 billion market established; Product development takes next steps

Vancouver, British Columbia – November 15, 2012 — Sirona Biochem Corp (TSX-V: SBM) today reported that its skin depigmenting agent, TFC-723, reduced melanin production seven times more effectively than beta arbutin, a leading skin lightener. The study, funded through a $1.9 million French government grant, is led by Sirona Biochem’s subsidiary company TFChem and includes a consortium of partners.

“The use of cosmetic skin lighteners is increasing dramatically worldwide and we plan to meet the demand for a more effective and safer skin lightening agent,” said Neil Belenkie, Chief Executive Officer of Sirona Biochem.  “We are thrilled that these positive study results continue to reinforce the benefits of our proprietary platform over existing technologies,” Mr. Belenkie added.

Efficacy studies were conducted using commercial human tyrosinase Feldan® to determine the compound’s ability to inhibit tyrosinase activity. Tyrosinase is an enzyme responsible for melanin production or darkening of the skin.  In the study, TFC-723 inhibited melanin production more effectively than commercial skin lightener beta arbutin.  An IC50 calculation, a standard laboratory inhibiting measure, showed that TFC-723 was seven times more effective at inhibiting human tyrosinase activity than beta arbutin. 

Additional studies are being conducted to compare the company’s other depigmenting agent, TFC-849, against alpha arbutin, another popular commercial skin lightening agent.  Stability studies are also being conducted on TFC-723 and TFC-849.

Sirona Biochem’s subsidiary, TFChem, is developing skin depigmenting agents to be used as cosmetic skin lighteners.  The company’s goal is to develop new, effective depigmenting agents that are stable and do not release hydroquinone, a common adverse effect of many skin lighteners.

According to Global Industry Analysts, the global skin lightening market was estimated to be US$7.5 billion in 2009 and is expected to exceed US$10 billion by 2015.  It is estimated approximately 15 percent of the global population invests in skin lightening products.  In Japan alone, an estimated US$5.9B was spent on skin lighteners.

About Sirona Biochem Corp.
Sirona Biochem is a biotechnology company developing diabetes therapeutics, cancer vaccine antigens, skin depigmenting and anti-aging agents for cosmetic use, and biological ingredients.  The company utilizes a proprietary chemistry technique to improve pharmaceutical properties of carbohydrate-based molecules. For more information visit


About the Project.

Sirona Biochem’s French subsidiary, TFChem received in November 2011 a $1.9-million grant. This project is co-financed by the European Union and Europe witnesses in Haute-Normandie with the support of European Regional Development Fund (E.R.D.F.). A consortium of partners – including TFChem, the University of Rouen (LMSM EA4312) and contract research organization Biogalenys – has been assembled to advance this project. The French government and European Union are looking to promote and initiate collaborative projects that are focused on the development of new products and services containing a high level of innovation.

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We seek Safe Harbor

Sirona Biochem cautions you that statements included in this press release that are not a description of historical facts may be forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are only predictions based upon current expectations and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of release of the relevant information, unless explicitly stated otherwise.  Actual results, performance or achievement could differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, Sirona Biochem’s forward-looking statements due to the risks and uncertainties inherent in Sirona Biochem’s business including, without limitation, statements about: the progress and timing of its clinical trials; difficulties or delays in development, testing, obtaining regulatory approval, producing and marketing its products; unexpected adverse side effects or inadequate therapeutic efficacy of its products that could delay or prevent product development or commercialization; the scope and validity of patent protection for its products; competition from other pharmaceutical or biotechnology companies; and its ability to obtain additional financing to support its operations.  Sirona Biochem does not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements except as required by law.

Product Development

While carbohydrate-based molecules offer immense commercial potential, we are focusing on three programs at this time.